Drum roll, please.
Actually, it is more like a chorus line. With teammates rooting him on Teddy Williamson appears from behind a curtain and struts to the squat station where a 525-pound bar awaited.
With adrenaline at full throttle Williamson completes the lift and the gym erupts as though the Ball State running back and special teams demon just scored a touchdown to clinch the MAC championship.
While no championship was won on that summer day in 2015, the point was made that championship effort can go a long way.
“It was a max squat in front of all the guys and it was cool to be able to show them that they can count on me whenever the time comes,” said Williamson.
His teammates know they can count on him, which is why this summer the senior was named one of the Cardinals’ four captains. It is a responsibility Williamson does not take lightly.
“It is a blessing and it definitely means a lot to me to be elected by my teammates,” he said. “It kind of shows me that your hard work never goes unnoticed and that things you work for can be achieved.”
Though Williamson is more of the quiet leader whose actions speak volumes, he is not afraid to exercise his vocal cords if the situation warrants.
“I feel like majority of the time I lead by example,” said the O’Fallon, Mo. native. “If there is a time when I feel I have to be vocal I make sure not to say something just for the sake of saying something. I want guys to know that when I do say something I mean it. They take heed to it and they understand that we are all working to the common goal.”
Williamson’s goal after he graduates in December with a finance degree is to return to the Show Me State and help with his mother’s real estate investment company and his father’s used car sales and towing companies.
Before that time comes, however, there is still much to be done on the gridiron and within the Ball State community. Williamson has been giving of his time while serving as a mentor at the Muncie Children’s Museum as well as the local Boys & Girls Club. Like his work in the weight room and on the football field those endeavors have not gone unnoticed as he was nominated for the 2016 Allstate Good Works Team.
“It means a lot to get out and show people that it is not all about football,” he said. “At the museum I would hang out with kids for a couple of hours, play with them and talk to them. I did a Punt, Pass and Kick camp with Boys & Girls Club where we had a little competition and taught them how to pass and kick a football, things of that nature. It is important to get out in the community and help.”
On the field Williamson is always at the ready to help when called upon. He has amassed 502 career rushing yards and has scored two of his three touchdowns this season. The 5-foot-9 and 190-pounder has often made a difference on special teams with big tackles and in a game against Georgia State last season he partially blocked a punt.
“Special teams are a big part of the game that not too many people recognize or understand,” he said. “But you have the ability to make an impact with one play and help your team change field position. Being a leader on those units is something that I take pride in.”
Williamson also takes pride in the fact his Cardinals (3-1) enter Saturday’s game on ASN against visiting MAC West rival Northern Illinois (0-4) having, for the most part, clicked on all cylinders during their four non-conference tilts. Alas, the stakes will be a little higher at Scheumann Stadium in what will be the conference opener for both teams.
“We are very excited and of course it is good to be going into our first conference game at 3-1,” he said. “We have a lot of confidence, but we also have to stay focused on the task at hand, which is winning the game.”
Photo courtesy Justin Casterline/Ball State
Video courtesy Anthony Winbush